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IBM, EMC Possible Suitors for SoftLayer Technologies

IBM, EMC Possible Suitors for SoftLayer Technologies
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"SoftLayer's customer base of some 25,000 mostly small- to medium-sized businesses demonstrates the value of the company's business model and expertise, and would serve as a great basis to build on," said analyst Charles King. "Both IBM and EMC have detailed plans to build out cloud services infrastructures, so a SoftLayer acquisition could help."
 



SoftLayer Technologies Inc. is up for sale and there may be a bidding war ahead. The company could fetch as much as $2 billion, according to news reports. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform, with 13 data centers throughout the United States, Asia and Europe.

Reuters points to three sources close to the matter in reporting the story. According to the wire service, IBM and EMC are among suitors for the privately held Web-infrastructure company.

SoftLayer hired Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse to deal with the sale, according to Reuters sources, who asked not to be disclosed because the discussions are private.

If the Rumors Are True

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us if the article was accurate it would be natural for either IBM or EMC, as well as other possible buyers, to be interested.

"SoftLayer's customer base of some 25,000 mostly small- to medium-sized businesses demonstrates the value of the company's business model and expertise, and would serve as a great basis to build on. Both IBM and EMC have detailed plans to build out cloud services infrastructures, so a SoftLayer acquisition could help get such efforts up and running quickly and profitably," King said.

"Finally, though both IBM and EMC have a great deal of name recognition among SMBs, neither is as large a supplier to such companies as they would like to be. Becoming an IT/cloud infrastructure service provider via a SoftLayer purchase would add considerable weight to any small- to medium-sized business-focused strategy."

Getting To Know SoftLayer

The Dallas, Texas-based company was founded in 2005 and currently operates what it describes as a "global cloud infrastructure platform" spanning 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe. The company also has headquarters in Singapore and the Netherlands.

With 100,000 devices under management, SoftLayer claims to be the largest privately held Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider in the world. Its portfolio of customers ranges from Web start-ups to global enterprises.

SoftLayer describes its unified platform as giving you cloud computing "any way you want it, deployed on demand, billed hour-to-hour or month-to-month, with a single pane of glass for systems management," meaning it can be managed from one portal and using one API.

Its modular architecture offers a full-featured API and sophisticated automation controlling a flexible, unified platform that crosses physical and virtual devices. And, it's all connected to a global private network for secure, low-latency communications.
 

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